The JFK Pre-k Dental Program Is Ready for a Cavity-Free 2022!
United Way of Central Jersey and JFK Elementary School in Jamesburg once again thank NJHCN and the State Department of Health for funding JFK’s pre-k dental education initiative.
What were we able to accomplish with our grant? Some highlights:
- each year of the grant, we were able to furnish 8 pre-k classrooms (about 200 children) with toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, and educational books and toys about “healthy teeth”
- water stations were installed to provide safe drinking water, and the children were given refillable water bottles
- our “Week of the Young Child” celebration included a bingo game about healthy nutrition, and we emphasized the connection between dental health and the food we eat
- for Dental Health Awareness Month, a local hygienist taped YouTube videos on topics such as “how to brush your teeth.” The children also got Playdoh dental kits with Playdoh teeth and mini dental equipment that let them fill cavities and brush the teeth. We also provided them with dental health and nutrition printables
- local parents were given a list of dentists and clinics serving low income people, immigrants and the undocumented
As the grant cycle draws to a close, we also plan to:
- furnish the nurse’s office with dental health and good nutrition posters, stickers, pop-up books and dental supplies and
- furnish each classroom with reusable dental materials, including books, costumes for role-playing dental careers, dental puppets such as “Flossie Flossasaurus”, and games such as “Nutrition Connect 4,” thus enabling us to infuse dental learning into the Creative Curriculum
But, we still have a lot to do! We want to increase parent involvement in our dental education efforts. We also need to continue outreach to underserved parents and children who lack access to good dental care. All in all, though, we all are very pleased with the outcome of the work made possible by our NJHCN/DOH grant and look forward to a cavity-free 2022!
About the Grantee
United Way of Central Jersey's leadership brings together resources for local disadvantaged families to ensure that all children in our community attain better educational outcomes and a healthier, brighter and more successful future. We accomplish our mission in collaboration with our partners, volunteers, and the generosity of our donors.